One of Cincinnati’s very own has been named a top small business owner in the state. Learn more about her and how she’s adapting in a changing industry.
Nestled among the streets of Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine is Spruce Nail Shop, a neighborhood nail salon specializing in manicures, pedicures, and skin care services.
The owner behind the shop is Molly Nagle, who also works in the nail salon as a nail tech and nail artist. Also behind the scenes of the business is a team of managers, front desk coordinators, nail technicians, nail artists, and estheticians.
Spruce Nail Shop will celebrate its five year anniversary in February, thanks in large part to its unique concept of focusing on non-toxic products and services that are good for you.
“We carefully choose products that are free of toxic materials and we select our services based on research for what is best for your nail and skin health,” says Nagle. “The foundation of our business is based on having Good. Clean. Fun. – both for our clients and employees.”
The mission behind Spruce Nail Shop is to use the safest alternatives for polishes, products, and practices while creating one-of-a-kind manicures and nail art designs for every client who walks through the door.
Nagle knows that the beauty industry is constantly changing, and she embraces that evolution and change. “It’s so fun to follow trends you see in design, art, and fashion and incorporate them into our nail art designs,” she says.
Those changes and adaptations have been especially difficult for many local businesses during COVID.
When COVID arrived, Nagle says that Spruce Nail Shop went back and worked from scratch during the lockdown to streamline as much as they could.
“We reworked our booking system, purchased sneeze guards, face shields, and masks,” she says. “We created a separate entrance and exit, new protocols for check-in and check-out, new systems for our technicians, and so much more.”
In addition to new safety protocols, Spruce Nail Shop has also had to adapt to a smaller capacity.
“We are running at 50% capacity, which has been a challenge, but, thankfully, we have our new space that is almost twice the size of our old one so we are able to socially distance much easier,” she says. “We keep getting creative and thinking of new ways to bring in revenue. Launching our online shop has been a huge help for us, and we are so thankful for the support we have received. Things are not easy, but our team has stayed so positive and encouraging, and that is truly what keeps me motivated.”
Spruce Nail Shop is proudly women-owned and operating. In addition to the staff in the storefront, the product vendors at Spruce Nail Shop are also women-owned.
More recently, Nagle was named as the top small, woman-owned business person of the year in Ohio, something that she says is humbling.
“I am so appreciative,” she says. “I often get caught up in working day-to-day and pushing Spruce, so it’s really nice to be able to take these moments to pause and look back on how much we have accomplished. There are so many incredible women-owned small businesses in Ohio, and I am so honored.”
Nagle says that what keeps her motivated as a small business owner is her team and clients.
“I am so proud of the team we have at Spruce,” she says. “The talent is unparalleled, but what I really love are the teachers. We hire a lot of techs straight out of nail school, and most have not done nail art before. We have a nail art educator and all techs work together and teach each other nail art. Seeing the growth in this skill set is one of my favorite things.”
Nagle says that Spruce Nail Shop is looking forward to a lot in the new year. “I know that we will be operating without current COVID standards for some time still, but I look forward to hopefully being able to bring back our Spruce Mobile and plan some more events and collaborations with other local businesses,” adds Nagle.